Characterization of Maternal Plasma biomarkers associated with delivery of Small and Large for Gestational Age Infants in the MIREC Study Cohort (Abstract)

Kumarathasan P, Williams G, Bielecki A, Blais E, Hemmings DG, Smith G, von Dadelszen P, Fisher M, Arbuckle TE, Fraser WD, Vincent R.PLOS ONE 2018 Nov 1;13(11):e0204863. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0204863.


Neonatal morbidity and mortality can be influenced by maternal health status. Information on maternal and fetal biomarkers of adverse health outcomes is limited. This work aims at identifying maternal biomarkers associated with low and high birth weight for gestational age groups.

Design and settings

Population-based prospective cohort study of the potential adverse health effects of exposure to environmental contaminants on pregnancy and infant health.


Third trimester maternal plasma samples (n = 1588) from a pregnancy cohort (Maternal-Infant Research on Environmental Chemicals Study, MIREC) were analyzed for changes in a target spectrum of biomarkers of vascular health (e.g., matrix metalloproteinases MMPs, vascular endothelial cell growth factor VEGF), inflammation (e.g. cellular adhesion molecules CAMs, cytokines, chemokines) by affinity-based multiplex protein array analyses. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were done to examine associations between target plasma biomarkers, maternal-infant characteristics, and birth weight outcomes assessed as small for gestational age (SGA) ≤10th percentile and large for gestational age (LGA) ≥90th percentile groups.

Results and outcomes

Our results revealed that maternal plasma biomarkers monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 MCP-1 (p<0.05, +ve) and VEGF (p<0.05, -ve) along with parity = 1 (p<0.01, -ve) and gestational hypertension (p<0.05, +ve) were associated with SGA births. Meanwhile, LGA was associated with maternal plasma VEGF (p<0.05, +ve) and MMP-9 (p<0.05, -ve) and gestational hypertension (p<0.01, +ve), pre-pregnancy body mass index (p<0.01, +ve), parity (p<0.05, +ve) and education (p<0.05, -ve).


Third trimester maternal plasma biomarkers in combination with maternal health and socioeconomic characteristics can be useful in predicting SGA and LGA outcomes. Maternal vascular health and inflammatory status may contribute to both SGA and LGA births through distinct molecular mechanisms.